The biggest Chiefs story no one is talking about

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

From the FanPosts. Fwiw, Andy Reid was asked about this earlier this week and said there was no connection between Maclin's release and the departure of their capologist, Trip MacCracken. -Joel

I have always been fascinated by roster construction. Behind every game we see, there are a group of professionals behind the scene that makes that happen. A lot of hard work and man hours go into the product we watch every Sunday. From the QB to the 53rd man on the roster, small decisions can make huge impacts on the overall success of an NFL franchise. I have always been interested in the cap and managing player salaries. Many of you probably think that is incredibly boring. So if that pertains to you, then you might want to skip this post.

The Chiefs have shaken things up in the front office the last couple of weeks. Most of the transactions were your routine promotions and what not. But a few changes were very interesting and have what I think could be big ramifications on this team and yet not many people seem to be talking much about them.

First and foremost is the somewhat surprising release of our ''capologist '' Trip MacCracken. For those who don't know, Trip was a holdover from the Pioli regime since 2010. His responsibilities were handling contract negotiations and making sure everything fits into the cap nice and sound. Will Lewis was also let got by the team. Lewis was the director of pro player personnel. His job is to scout other teams rosters and be familiar with players when they are cut or released. So when this team signs guys like Spencer Ware, Terrence Mitchell and Josh Mauga, his fingerprints are on those guys being given contracts. He also watches film on the CFL and AFL for diamonds in the rough that might be able to help this team.

This team has had issues with the salary cap every year since 2014. The Chiefs always seem to have limited cap space going into every off season and before we released Jeremy Maclin (more on that in a minute) we were $8 million in the hole for 2018. It is one of the major criticisms I have against John Dorsey and the main architect behind our cap woes was Trip MacCracken. Replacing Trip are a couple of guys. First off Brandt Tills (who was also here in 2010) was promoted to football operations and Chris Shea was brought in from Philly to seemingly fill Brandt's old job.

From what I've read, Shea spent the last couple of years in the scouting department for the Eagles and is a big analytics guy. Both Shea and Brandt worked in the league office on legal matters pertaining to player salaries. I thought that was interesting as well since I can't find any information that Trip ever held a position in the league office more than an internship. Shea is also touted as kind of a do it all guy. He has scouted, ran the finance department of several clubs and even did some coaching as well as serve as a liaison between the league legal office and the NFLPA. Basically Shea was a numbers guy who kind of moved his way up into more a player scouting role. I really wanted this team to go after John Idzik to be our cap guy when he was fired from his GM job in New York. Maybe Shea can be that guy for us. He hasn't had success as a player scout but by all intents and purposes he won't have anything to do with personnel decisions here. But he is a highly regarded contract/cap guru.

Taking over for Lewis is Tim Terry, who like Dorsey, has spent the past several seasons working with the Packers in their pro personnel department. That is probably a boring job as the Packers seldom spend any money in free agency. It will be interesting to see if he can do a better job than Will Lewis. it is kind of strange that Lewis was fired (or not retained). I thought he did a good job helping this team unearth gems like Geoff Schwartz, Husain Abdullah, Ron Parker, Jaye Howard, Sean McGrath etc. On the other hand, This team has also had some busts in free agency like Joe Mays, Paul Fanaika, Ben Grubbs, Donnie Avery. So I am curious as to the reason he was let go. But as we all know, the Chiefs rarely leak those things out .

I find these moves intriguing for two major reasons

1) This team has had salary cap issues and now two former league legal workers are in charge of player negotiations. Is this Dorsey and Trip just mutually parting ways so that MaCracken can pursue other ventures? Or is this Dorsey realizing this team needs to get better at managing the cap and thus has decided to go in another direction? I don't think we will ever know the reasons. But this could have a huge impact for KC in the future. This team needs to a better job managing the cap space it has. There is no denying that. And if Brandt and Shea can find a way to right that ship, KC could really be poised to make a big impact in future seasons. One final note on this, the last major contract Trip helped negotiate was Eric Berry's extension. That deal helped to propel this team into the mess they are facing next season. Just throwing it out there.

2) This seems to tie Dorsey to this franchise long term. There were some rumblings that John Dorsey would be interested in the Green Bay GM job when Ted Thompson steps down. These moves seem to fly in the face of that notion. Why would Dorsey hire his guys only to bolt for another job next season? It wouldn't make any sense and it wouldn't make sense for someone who had a steady and secure job to leave for another gig where the GM is out the next season. So these moves bode well for us retaining Dorsey for the foreseeable future which is a good thing.

The position held by Chris Ballard is currently vacant. I have a name I would like to throw out there. His name is Chad Alexander. Alexander is serving as the assistant director of pro personnel for the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens gave Phil DeCosta a promotion a couple years ago to assistant GM when there were teams swooping around him for a GM job. That leaves a guy like Alexander to kind of hang in the wind. He has been with Baltimore since 1999 staring as an area scout . He was promoted in 2009 to assistant to pro personnel director. So he has had success evaluating college and pro rosters on a consistently good franchise. I think he would be a great hire to fill Ballard's old gig.

The Ravens have always had a very stable and successful front office and Ozzie Newsome is arguably the most respected GM in football. His people seem to be very loyal to him. But that stability also means that promotions can be hard to come by . I don't see DeCosta going anywhere and Newsome doesn't seem to be contemplating retirement. If and when Newsome does retire, it would seem DeCosta would be first in line for the head GM with Ozzie's son Vincent firmly entrenched as the director of pro football .Alexander could see KC as a great opportunity to catapult himself to a GM job the way Ballard did. If I was Dorsey I would be in contact with him to see if he is interested in the job. To me it would be a home run hire and a very suitable replacement to Ballard .

Have we already seen the fallout from the Macracken departure?

Of course I would be remiss if I didn't address the fallout from Jeremy Maclin being released this past Friday. This is another contract that was negotiated and was cut before it had expired. It is interesting that on the heels of Shea and Brandt being promoted to the cap department that Maclin was cut almost immediately. This leaves more dead money that this team is going to have to deal with. Hopefully we see fewer and fewer of these deals in the future. Maclin was never worth $12 million APY and now he is cut two years into a five year deal. This team has had too many of these types of contracts since Dorsey was hired as the teams GM.

The truth is that you can't build a team on draft picks alone. No matter how great of a talent evaluator you may be, you are still going to have holes on the team. Free agency can be a great way to fill the bigger areas of need on the roster which in turn gives you more flexibility in the draft. But when you are near the red line in terms of cap space every season, it is much more difficult to add those players that can help put the team over the top. Before they cut Maclin, KC didn't even have enough cap space to sign all their draft picks . They only had six of them! Before they cut Maclin, KC was $8 million in the hole for 2018 despite being a year away from the season. This franchise has to do better at structuring contracts and getting value. They need to figure out to front end deals so you are paying the guaranteed portion up front when players are still in their prime and cutting them with little to no dead money when they cease to be useful. Because $2 million dead money here, $3.5 million over there adds up real quick and it hamstrings what you are able to do in free agency. Hopefully this shakeup in the front office goes a long way to correct this issue.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.